In today’s top stories, Wise revealed a robust revenue performance, ARK Invest closed its Transparency ETF and Google started testing its AR in glasses. Meanwhile, a growth-focused hedge fund returned 223% this year from shorting tech stocks and S3 Partners sees a short squeeze in EV stocks.
Transfers volumes up at Wise
Worries about volatile currency exchange rates helped to boost revenue at Wise [WISE.L] by 50% in the most recent quarter. The volume transferred in the three months to the end of June was £24.4bn, up from £16.4bn a year ago. Although it’s keeping an eye on rising costs for customers, CFO, Matt Briers, said on an analyst call that it wasn’t “over-indexed to any swings in GDP”.
ARK pulls plug on passive ETF
Cathie Wood is closing ARK Transparency ETF [CTRU], set up to give investors exposure to companies that are highly transparent. The ETF, which includes Spotify [SPOT] and Teladoc [TDOC] in its holdings, had only pulled in $12m since its inception last December. “ARK made their name by focusing on active management and disruptive innovation. [CRTU] was at odds with that approach,” Nate Geraci, president of the ETF Store, told Bloomberg.
Mandeep Manku’s big tech bet
Growth-focused hedge funds have endured some heavy losses this year, but not Mandeep Manku’s Coltrane Asset Management. According to The WSJ, the fund has returned 223% in the six months to the end of June thanks to bets against the likes of Netflix [NFLX], Meta [META], Peloton [PTON] and Roblox [RBLX]. It was back in 2020 that Manku switched from cheap European stocks to shorting big tech names.
Google to test AR glasses
Keep an eye on Google [GOOGL]. The company announced yesterday that it’s to start testing the latest iteration of its augmented reality in glasses in August. “It’s early, and we want to get this right, so we’re taking it slow, with a strong focus on ensuring the privacy of the testers and those around them,” product manager, Juston Payne, wrote in a blog.
S3 Partners predicts EV short squeeze
Electric vehicle (EV) stocks have become popular with short sellers, but a number of them could soon see a short squeeze. According to data from S3 Partners, seen by Barron’s, of the 25 US companies most susceptible to a short squeeze, five of them are EV makers. They are Canoo [GOEV], Lordstown Motor [RIDE], Faraday Future Intelligent Electric [FFIE], Fisker [FSR] and Lucid [LCID].
Earnings preview: NextEra Energy
Energy has been one of the sectors outperforming the broader market in 2022 and investors are hoping that Q2 earnings will turbocharge the NextEra Energy [NEE] share price when the utility reports tomorrow. Last time around, it posted an EPS surprise of 7.2%. With fears of a recession lingering, analysts are muted yet positive on the stock's outlook. Long-term, it should profit from the green transition.
Housebuilders wobble amid shortages
While house prices rose for a record sixth month in a row in June, the UK’s construction industry is seeing a slowdown in activity due to labour and material shortages. Both Barratt Developments [BDEV.L] and Persimmon [PSN.L] saw a drop in completions when they reported earnings earlier this month. Taylor Wimpey [TW.L] expects to deliver low single digit year-over-year completion growth, assuming the market remains relatively stable.